This banyan tree at Wailuku River State Park is easily 500 years old, maybe much more. That one tree has formed a grove - all attached, all one tree, but when I threw up my hands in sheer glory, I was standing in a clearing between the root-joined trees that was a hundred or so feet in diameter. It was the holiest ground I've ever stood on. I'm glad I connected with that energy on that particular day.
A few hours later, I was on an airplane headed to Houston. I couldn't sleep well throughout that night flight, and about two hours outside of Houston I began to be very uncomfortable. When the flight attendants came around with morning juices, I told one of them that I was having trouble breathing. He brought me a tank of oxygen. With the mask on my face, I began to feel much better.
Another attendant came by and asked if I'd like to be checked by paramedics when we landed. "No, I'm breathing just fine now." You see, I knew a paramedic visit would mean nobody else could get off the plane until the "problem" had been handled. I didn't want anyone to miss a flight because of me - and I had only an hour layover before my flight home.
She came back a few minutes later. "The pilot says we'll be arriving 15 minutes early. Are you sure you don't want to see a paramedic?"
"No, really." I took two deep breaths. "I'm doing okay now."
A few minutes later she was back. "May I take your pulse?" I lifted my arm. Within seconds she had both her hands on mine. "If you've had trouble on this big plane," she said, "you won't enjoy the next flight. It's on what we in the industry call a Barbie Doll plane – it's real skinny and bounces all over the place." Before I could object (again), she said, "Honey, I'd feel a whole lot better if you let me call the paramedics. Would you do it just for me? Please?"
So I said yes.
Turns out my pulse was bouncing between 174 and 90, back up to 128, 70, 163, 35. And the EKG looked like an earthquake had hit.
That flight attendant had figured out exactly how to get me to do what she felt was necessary. She saved my life. I don't know her name, but she was on United Flight 252 Honolulu to Houston on January 26/27 (overnight). If you know any of the crew on that flight, please pass the word on. Better yet, please share this post with anyone you know – the word is bound to get to her eventually.
I have to go take a nap now. I'll be back sometime to tell you the rest of the story.